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These four planets, all between 20 and 50 percent larger than Earth by diameter, are orbiting the M dwarf star K2-72, found 181 light-years away in the direction of the Aquarius constellation. The host star is less than half the size of the sun and less bright.
The planets' orbital periods range from five-and-a-half to 24 days, and two of them may experience irradiation levels from their star comparable to those on Earth. Despite their tight orbits -- closer than Mercury's orbit around our sun -- the possibility that life could arise on a planet around such a star cannot be ruled out, according to lead author Ian Crossfield, a Sagan Fellow at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Tucson.
So I would be interested to know what anyone here can tell me: do red dwarf stars have the same strength of solar wind, or less?
Even between flares, the combination of UV light and stellar winds can strip away the atmosphere if nothing is protecting or replenishing it.? However, all hope is not lost. The high-energy radiation is predominantly emitted by young stars. As they age, red dwarfs become less magnetically active, while continuing to shine steadily at visible wavelengths for 100 billion years or more.
Therefore, if an orbiting planet can just hold onto its atmosphere through the wild early years of its red dwarf roommate, it could end up being a decent place to live.